TOP 5 POWER RANKINGS WEEK 8 

Excitement is brewing as we enter week 8 of the NFL’s 2019-2020 regular season. 

With approximately 150 games remaining, there are more than a trillion scenarios of how the NFL’s regular season will end. How many predictions are there for Super Bowl LIV in beautiful Miami, Florida, too many to count?  A simulator was devised to access your favorite team’s chances for entering the playoffs and winning the Lombardi trophy on February 2, 2020. Artificial intelligence arrives at the odds randomly by simulating the remaining games of the regular NFL season. I present statistics for each of my Top 5 Power Rankings for this week. Considering 236 games (each team 16 games & 1 bye) played over 17 weeks between 32 teams, here are the rankings & playoff predictions through Week 7 by using the NY Times NFL Playoff Prediction Tool

New Orleans Saints (6-1) 

© Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

© Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

The New Orleans Saints continued the hottest winning streak in the National Football League. Teddy Bridgewater’s notable performance over the last 5 weeks has been stunning. The Washington Post cites Earl Morrall as the greatest backup quarterback in NFL history.  He came off the bench and led the Miami Dolphins to an unprecedented perfect season in 1972.  Morrall also won Super Bowl V as a backup quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts.  While Super Bowl LIV is about 18 weeks away, let’s consider Bridgewater’s merits. 

The Saints suffered defeat against the Los Angeles Rams when Drew Brees’ right thumb ligament was torn. Teddy Bridgewater came off the bench for Brees and has not looked back.  The Saints defense stepped up and shut down the opponent’s rushing attacks.  The Saints have not allowed a 100 yard rusher in 33 games, regular and post-season.  Teddy Bridgewater has led the Saints to 5 straight victories.  The team lost star RB Alvin Kamara, WR Tre’Quan Smith and TE Jared Cook, bad penalties and calls, and missed catches… yet, Teddy “Two Gloves” won for the Saints.  It excites us that Drew Brees had a time to mend and the New Orleans Saints are looking forward to marching to Miami on February 2, 2020.  The team's playoff prediction:

Courtesy: New York Times - NFL Playoff Interactive

Courtesy: New York Times - NFL Playoff Interactive

2. New England Patriots (7-0) 

© Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

© Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The New England Patriots continue to steamroll over every team faced since the beginning of the regular season. Tom Brady has yet to meet a skilled team yet coming off the heels of defeating the 1-5 Jets. The Patriots and Bill Belichick have been winning for over 20 years together, but they are not recognized for having outstanding defensive units. This year is a different story.  Hats off to the Patriots defense and they will flex even more on Sunday as they face the 2-4 Cleveland Browns.  The team's playoff prediction:

Courtesy:  New York Times - NFL Playoff Interactive

Courtesy: New York Times - NFL Playoff Interactive

3. San Francisco 49ers (7-0) 

© Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

© Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

San Francisco 49ers continue winning with an awesome defense. Despite sloppy conditions on the FedEx Field, they managed to shutout the Washington Redskins. The 49ers’ have yet to face more significant tests as the more robust part of their schedule is ahead. Shockingly, the 49ers did not put up more points against the Redskins as they continued to struggle with red zone conversions.  The team's playoff prediction:

Courtesy: New York Times - NFL Playoff Interactive

Courtesy: New York Times - NFL Playoff Interactive

4. Green Bay Packers (6-1) 

© Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

© Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

The Green Bay Packers concludes this week’s Power Rankings at number 5. Losing to Philadelphia in week 4 has proven to be a wake-up call for the Packers and catapulted them to a three-week run. Aaron Rodgers had one of the most impressive games of his career even running in one touchdown out six. The Packers easily steamrolled the Raiders 42-24 on Sunday.  The team's playoff prediction:

Courtesy: New York Times - NFL Playoff Interactive

Courtesy: New York Times - NFL Playoff Interactive

5. The Kansas City Chiefs (5-2) 

© Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

© Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The 5-2 Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Denver Broncos last week. The team looks to duplicate the efforts of New Orleans Saints as starting quarterback Mahomes will be out for at least three weeks. Matt Moore can learn a few lessons from Teddy Bridgewater going forward this regular season. The Kansas City Chiefs’ chances of making the playoffs increased to 86% from 71% last week.  The team's playoff prediction:

Kansas City Chief Playoff Chances

Courtesy: New York Times - NFL Playoff Interactive

Week 8 in the NFL will be another great one.  The top teams of their respective divisions will focus on creating more separation from their division rivals with wins on Sunday.

*Thanks to the New York Times for the Playoff Predictions - NFL Playoff Interactive Tool.